Equinet on Euronews regarding diversity and discrimination in the workplace

Euronews has recently aired a reportage on the issue of diversity and discrimination at work, interviewing Mr. Jozef De Witte (Chair of Equinet’s Executive Board) on the importance of equality legislation and the role of equality bodies.

The euronews reportage acknowledges that “diversity is important to companies. It’s a source of creativity and innovation. It recognises that different points of view are important in a growing multi-cultural world. Studies show that this idea is gaining momentum around Europe, but studies also show that discrimination is still widespread in the work place.”

Ms. Anne Devineaux, reporting on this story for euronews, discussed these issues with a victim of discrimination but also with the Chair of the Equinet Executive Board, Mr. Jozef De Witte. He provided more context for understanding the role of national equality bodies and of Equinet in the European anti-discrimination field.

We encourage you to access the reportage (with video recording and text) by clicking here or on the image below.


2012 Equinet High-Level Legal Seminar – 28 March, Brussels

Discrimination cases in front of the European Courts and the role of National Equality Bodies

Equinet has compiled a summary of the main discussions, arguments and ideas from the seminar. You can access this summary below.
2012 Equinet Legal Seminar Summary


Last year Equinet organised a highly appreciated 3rd edition of its Legal Seminar on the topic of Legal Developments and Concepts in the Field of Equality and Non-Discrimination in Europe. Building on the very positive feedback received for that event, Equinet this year aimed to provide senior legal expert participants with insights into the cutting edge of European court cases and procedures in the field of equality and non-discrimination.

This year’s Legal Seminar, which was held on 28 March 2012, addressed the topic of Discrimination cases in front of the European Courts and the role of National Equality Bodies. The seminar:
– presented recent developments in the CJEU’s judgments with regard to equal treatment;
– explored and discussed how national equality bodies can make use of their powers in relation to litigation before national and European courts;
– discussed possible and potential interpretations of the existing laws;
– provided an opportunity for senior lawyers of national equality bodies to meet and exchange with other senior legal experts and practitioners in the field of non-discrimination law.

The seminar was adressed to legal experts and practitioners involved in anti-discrimination law – including senior legal staff/experts from national equality bodies, from the European Institutions, agencies and other international organisations, from national and European NGOs, the academic world and social partners active in the field of non-discrimination and equal treatment law.

Agenda, information packs and presentations

The agenda of the seminar, which can be downloaded here, was developed around the following general structure:
– Session 1 – Litigating discrimination cases in front of the CJEU;
– Session 2 – Involvement of national equality bodies in CJEU proceedings;
– Session 3 – Key discrimination cases at national and European level.

Other relevant items from the participants’ information packs include the speakers’ biographies, the list of registered participants, and two publications (the Equinet report on Influencing the law through legal proceedings – Powers and practices of equality bodies, and the EC publication How to present a discrimination claim – Handbook on seeking remedies under the EU Non-discrimination Directives).

Several presentations and speeches delivered by the speakers are available below:
Robin AllenThe jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU in discrimination cases, with a focus on the potential role and added value of national equality bodies in these procedures (presentation and speech);
Clare Collier The challenges of convincing national courts to refer a case and certain specific questions to the CJEU – lessons from particular cases (presentation);
Nanna Margrethe KrusaaThe different options for national equality bodies to get involved in CJEU proceedings (presentation);
Esen FikriThe Belov case (C-394/11) and the actions of the Bulgarian equality body (presentation);
Peter ReadingA question of faith: Religious discrimination and article 9 ECHR claims (presentation);
Lilla FarkasRight to Information in anti-discrimination litigation concerning private employment. The Galina Meister case. (presentation);
Felipe TemmingCompulsory retirement and the fixing of a maximum age for recruitment – lawful or unlawful age discrimination? (paper and speech).

Apart from these items, of further interest would also be the latest Case Law Update to the Handbook on non-discrimination developed by the FRA-ECtHR (available for download here).

Suggested readings prior to the seminar

Cases (ECJ database is available here):
– Session 1: Feryn (C-54/07); Coleman (C-303/06); N.S. v Home Department (C-411/10);
– Session 2: Dorsch (C-54/96); Belov (C-394/11);
– Session 3: Ladele, Eweida, McFarlane petitions to the ECtHR; AG Opinion in Galina Meister case (C-415/10); Prigge v Lufthansa (C-447/09); Wolf (C-229/08); Petersen (C-341/08); Fuchs & Koehler v Land Hessen (C-159/10 and C-160/10).


Equinet welcomes 4 new members and its newly elected Board

The 6th Equinet Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 29 and 30 November in Brussels. Click here to read about the new Equinet Executive Board and new Equinet members


Equinet is recruiting a Communications Officer

Equinet, the European Network of Equality Bodies is currently seeking to appoint a Communications Officer. The application deadline is Wednesday 21 December 2011


New Member in the Spotlight – Serbian Commission for the Protection of Equality

We are very happy to announce that one of our newest members, the Serbian Commission for the Protection of Equality, is now featured in the Members in the Spotlight section of our website.


One in 100

Equinet Executive Director, Anne Gaspard, acknowledged as one of 100 exceptional women in Belgium